When the weather is bad outside, when you can't leave home for whatever reason, here are some fun activities you can do with your toddler.
1. Playdough. Playdough is fun for kids, but adults often lose sight of all of the benefits of playdough. Just try not to squeeze a good batch of playdough while your child plays! It is calming to manipulate it. You can also explore countless concepts with playdough – making and identifying shapes, forming letters, exploring size, weight, volume, printmaking, creativity… the possibilities are truly endless. If you don’t have store-bought playdough, there are a number of playdough recipes that can be made with ingredients you have at home.
2. Make bath time a new experience. Bring measuring cups and cooking tools into the bath and create a truly life-sized water table!
3. Send some love. We receive so little mail that many children don’t know how to send mail in today’s world. You might have loved ones stuck in their homes too. Brighten their day with a message or picture your child creates and give your child the opportunity to learn about how to send mail. Talk to them about how you can send their creation to a loved one and how it will get to their loved one through the mail.
4. Scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts can be customized for almost any age and made to work for multiple age groups if you have older children. Challenge your two-year-old to find something red or something soft while your grade-schooler looks for something more challenging
5. Cook or Bake Together. Have your child help you while you prepare a meal or a snack. They can help measure, pour, or mix while learning important math and science skills. Children are usually more excited to eat something they helped make.
6. Let imagination roam. Social distancing may mean fewer interactions out in the world, but that does not mean you can’t create a world of interactions at home with your child. Bring your restaurant or store experiences home and let your child take on different roles – your little store owner, restaurateur, pilot, or parent is learning social skills, creativity, confidence, and other important skills while they try on different roles.
7. Dance. Turn on some of their favorite songs or yours and have a family dance party.